Colour consistency is paramount in the world of design, especially when it comes to print. Ensuring the colours in your final printed product are what you expected and that there are no sudden surprises, is crucial to producing high quality documents that you can be proud of. Fortunately the Adobe Creative Cloud suite offers robust colour management tools. In this tutorial we will look at how you can set up colour management in Adobe Bridge for the entire suite or in InDesign for an individual program.
It is important to bear in mind changes to colour management settings will affect how colours are output in your documents, so it is your responsibility to ensure you are comfortable with the changes you make and fully test any output. In my case I am going to be using the European FOGRA39 profiles, however your settings will depend on the region you are in and your printers requirements. I would recommend asking your printer if you are at all unsure.
1. Setting Up Colour Management in Adobe Bridge
Adobe Bridge is an organizational tool for Adobe Creative Cloud but it’s also the gateway for synchronizing colour settings across the Adobe applications. For most people I would recommend taking this approach for setting your colour management settings.
Steps to Set Up Colour Management in Adobe Bridge:
1.1. Launch Adobe Bridge: Start by installing and then opening the Adobe Bridge application. Ensure you have the latest version in order to ensure you have the latest colour management profiles.
1.2. Open Color Settings: Go to the Edit menu and select Colour Settings, which will bring up the Colour Settings dialog box.
1.3. Choose a Preset: From the list, choose the most appropriate preset for your region. In my case I am going to choose Europe General Purpose 3 as I do work for both digital and print. If I was outputting for print only I would select Europe PrePress 3. These presets align with European standards but your region may require different presets.
1.4. Synchronize Settings: The advantage of setting colour profiles in Bridge is that you can apply them across all Creative Cloud applications. After choosing your preset, click on the Apply button and will see the top of the dialog box now says Synchronized. This ensures that all Adobe software use the same colour profile for a consistent colour output.
2. Setting Up Colour Management in Adobe InDesign
If you only use InDesign and wish to just set colour settings specifically for this application, follow these steps:
Steps to Set Up Colour Management in InDesign:
2.1. Launch InDesign: Begin by opening your Adobe InDesign application.
2.2. Open Colour Settings: Like in Bridge, select the Edit menu, then choose Colour Settings.
2.3. Setting the Right Profile: From the Settings dropdown choose the preset which best works for your region. As with Section 1, I am in Europe and working for both digital and print output. As such I will select Europe General Purpose 3. Having done this you should see an sRGB profile selected for RGB and a Coated FOGRA39 profile select for Print in the dropdowns below.
2.4. Enable Profile Mismatches: Just below the ‘Colour Management Policies’, you’ll see two options under Profile Mismatches: Ask When Opening and Ask When Pasting I would recommend checking both of these. Additionally you will see a checkbox for Missing Profiles: Ask When Opening again I will check this. These settings will prompt InDesign to notify you if there’s a profile mismatch, ensuring you always have full control over your colour management.
2.5. Save & Apply: After ensuring all settings are appropriately configured, click OK. This will apply the chosen profiles specifically to InDesign.
Colour management is vital in producing consistent, high-quality designs, especially when dealing with print materials. Whether you opt to synchronize your colour settings across the whole Creative Cloud suite using Adobe Bridge, or prefer a program-specific approach with InDesign, it’s essential to maintain consistency. Always double-check your profiles before finalizing a project, and you’ll be on your way to delivering impeccable, colour-accurate designs every time.